House fire in east London Thursday morning deemed suspicious

A fire Thursday morning at an east London home has attracted police interest.

Firefighters had to break through the roof of the home at 1031 Frances Street dousing hot spots and venting smoke.

Emergency responders were called to the home, which sits about half a block east of Egerton Street, at around 9:50 am.

"Fortunately we had fire department personnel from our apparatus division that was going by the area and were able to a great size-up for us to deploy our resources. Upon arrival crews made forceable entry and we were able to knock the fire down quite quickly."

But Platoon Chief Colin Shewell says crews also had to conduct a thorough search, with initial reports indicating two people might be inside the building.

"We knock the fire down and do rescue simultaneously. They were able to do that. We did multiple searches to make sure the structure is clear."

Even as firefighters were getting the blaze under control, Constable Sandasha Bough says London Police were initiating an investigation.

“The circumstances around the fire do appear to be suspicious at this time. And we're working closely alongside fire with respect to the investigation. It has been reassigned to members of our street crime unit."

An investigator with the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall has also been called in.

An initial damage estimate has been set at $400,000.

Frances was closed for much of the day from Egerton to Ethel Street.